Summary:  $400 million dollars are allocated to establish and expand a database containing the immunization data of American citizens, and to engage in other activities.

On November 30, 2021, eighty (80) Republican members of the House of Representatives voted with Democrats to pass the “Immunization Infrastructure Modernization Act of 2021,” H.R. 550.  The vote was 294 – 130.

This “Act” requires the Secretary for Health and Human Services to, among other things:

  1. conduct activities (including with respect to interoperability, population reporting, and bidirectional reporting) to expand, enhance, and improve immunization information systems that are administered by health departments or other agencies of State, local, Tribal, and territorial governments and used by health care providers; and
  2. award grants or cooperative agreements to the health departments, or such other governmental entities as administrators of immunization information systems, of State, local, Tribal, and territorial governments, for the expansion, enhancement, and improvement of immunization information systems to assist public health departments in—
    1. assessing current data infrastructure capabilities and gaps among health care providers to improve and increase consistency in patient matching, data collection, reporting, bidirectional exchange, and analysis of immunization-related information,
    2. providing for technical assistance and the efficient enrollment and training of health care providers, including at pharmacies and other settings where immunizations are being provided, such as long-term care facilities, specialty health care providers, community health centers, federally qualified health centers, rural health centers, organizations serving adults 65 and older, and organizations serving homeless and incarcerated populations;
    3. improving secure data collection, transmission, bidirectional exchange, maintenance, and analysis of immunization information; and
    4. improving the secure bidirectional exchange of immunization record data among Federal, State, local, Tribal, and territorial governmental entities and non-governmental entities, including by—
      1. supporting adoption of the immunization information system functional standards of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the maintenance of security standards to protect individually identifiable health information;
      2. supporting and training immunization information system, data science, and informatics personnel; and
      3. supporting the development and implementation of policies that facilitate complete population-level capture, consolidation, and access to accurate immunization information.

$400,000,000 is allocated for these activities.

The three North Carolina Republicans voting in favor of passage of the bill are:

  1. Hudson
  2. McHenry
  3. Murphy

Had none of them voted in favor of this bill, the Republicans could have stopped its passage.  A two-thirds vote of all members was needed for passage.  The final vote would only have been 214 – 210—not enough for passage!  Nine (9) House members did not vote at all—three Republicans and six Democrats.  

Maybe someone curious enough will ask these Republications their rationale for supporting this database and to what purposes the Government ultimately will make use of the data.  It can’t possibly be good!

Sometimes, it’s hard to be a Republican!

I hope this is of value!

Demetria Carter